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Walking as the Default Mode of Transportation

One of the central themes of CNU30 in Oklahoma City was the climate crisis and tackling the issue through mitigation versus adaptation was a topic of debate. Whatever side you are on, or if you believe that it could be both mitigation AND adaptation, changing our individual or collective default mode of getting around is an essential piece of the varied solutions.


Making walking a default mode does not mean an end to cars, but it does mean making walking easier, more comfortable, safer, and more enjoyable - especially for trips under 1 mile. It means providing more choices for getting around your village, town, neighborhood, or city.


Streetsblog posted an article that sums up some of this quite well. It is a short read and spells out how walking can help solve climate change. https://usa.streetsblog.org/2022/04/07/ipcc-report-we-cant-solve-climate-change-without-more-walking/


Unfortunately, many of our places are not walkable. They may be too spread out, they may be hostile (you may need to cross highways or arterials), they may be unsafe, or the walk between your destinations may just be dull or uninviting (think of walking past blocks of parking lots and blank walls).


The Congress for the New Urbanism seeks to legalize walkable urbanism and promote the 15-minute city. Michigan is full of examples of places where walking can be the default mode - you can see some of these places in the Places We Love section of our website. These towns, cities, and neighborhoods have the urbanism necessary to provide the choice to walk.


Compact, connected, safe, and interesting places promote walking. People-centered places promote walking.



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